Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas cards and commissions

Everyone who sends Christmas cards probably already has, but if you're like me and don't send them out till in the twelve days of Christmas or even later, you can still get a set of ones with the above 'Madonna and Child of Tamaracks' picture at my etsy shop.

This Christmas marked my first portrait commission! A fellow student at my university commissioned me to paint her grandparents, as a Christmas present for her mother.

It was a lot of work, and I'm very thankful I finished in time. I got a better likeness to the photo she gave me to work from with the man than the woman, but I'm pretty satisfied. But more importantly, the recipient was too. ^_^

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Gilbert!

Two of my pictures were recently featured in Gilbert magazine's art issue! This is the impressive cover:

And here's the page with my pictures:

They're the upper two.

Also featured were awesome artists such as Ben Hatke:

and Anthony VanArsdale, who also did that impressive cover:

And as if that wasn't enough, my university did an article about this happenstance!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well you can't get em all right.

Long before the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was officially promulgated, St. Thomas Aquinas and Bl. John Duns Scotus argued over it, with Duns Scotus arguing for and Thomas against. Turns out Duns Scotus was right.

So for today, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I drew this simple fun picture of them in Heaven, where it's a joy to see how you were mistaken.

Happy Immaculate Conception!

A Chance at a Free Comic Book!

Illustrator and artist Ben Hatke is having a contest on his blog for a free copy of his first graphic novel Zita the Spacegirl! You can enter here. And to get an idea of what the comic is like, you can see here. It's really neat and funny. I'm going to enter, and so should you. On second thought, you shouldn't, cuz then I have better chances.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Becoming a Real Fish

Final project for painting class. I learned I love painting fish.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tegan umber underpainting

Practicing oil portraits; this is based on a shot of Janet Fielding in her role as Tegan Jovanka in Doctor Who.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where there were Indian Strawberries

Just a crayon sketch of behind my parish church. Now it's all torn up back there because they're building a new shrine and classroom building... the new buildings are going to be nice but I'm sad this tree got cut down.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

I've been making dolls lately

Two tiny ones:

And one big one, inspired by my in-progress graphic novel Beckyless:

They are for sale at my "Shop" link above.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Institution of the Eucharist coloring page

The final Luminous mystery coloring book page.

You can buy the whole set in high resolution files that you can print and copy as much as you need for just 5 US dollars. Just go here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Practice for the below

Done quickly, roughly, and first from another, but similar, photo of the North Antrim coast.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Transfiguration coloring page

You can buy the whole set of Luminous Mystery coloring pages in high resolution files that you can print and copy as much as you need for just 5 US dollars. Just go here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Layer

Getting underway on that painting of the Irish coast... 'tis nervewracking, but I think it's going okay.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


In spite of only just now first learning to paint with oils, I'm undertaking to paint an oil landscape for silent auction at the fundraising gala put on by my university's Center for Irish Studies. This is the underpainting. Please pray that I don't mess this up too badly!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Proclamation of the Kingdom

Third Luminous mystery coloring page. This one gave me the most trouble so far.

You can buy the whole set in high resolution files that you can print and copy as much as you need for just 5 US dollars. Just go here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Miyazaki illustrates Chesterton!

The Japanese edition of The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton had a cover illustration done by none other than Hayao Miyazaki! And here it is, at last!

I say at last because I have known this was so for a long time, from bibliographies of Miyazaki's work, and it excited me tremendously. But I could find no image on the internet and I had no way of getting it... until I met Father Peter Milward, founder of the Japan Chesterton Society (the first one there ever was) at this year's Chesterton conference. My father asked him about this book, and he said that he had been the one who edited it and he'd send us a copy. I am so very grateful!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New way of using lace

I love lace, and I'm always trying to find ways to put interesting texture detail into pictures. One way would be to scan the lace into my computer and apply its texture to pictures digitally, but I don't like that idea because I always want a picture to be complete physically. Everything that's going to be part of that picture, I want it to be part of the picture in real life, not only after I've turned it into a computer file.

Also, working with real things gives you more options. It always gives you more colors, of course, since computer monitors can only show a certain number of colors while pigment combinations can show the entire visible spectrum. (in the scanned version of the picture those colors are taken away, but still) But it also means there are more ways you can use something like lace. If I scanned it in, then I could put it in a picture with several different colors and opacities, but it would always be the same arrangement of light to dark ratios. But with real lace, I can do many things, each yielding and entirely different sort of texture. I can right-out paste it on; or I can coat it in printer's ink and use it as a stamp with a brayer; or I can airbrush over it as I've frequently done; or now I've found I can partially paint it with acrylic, lay it on the paper, paint over the whole thing with ink and a lot of water, then remove the lace and get something like this:

As usual when I first try out a new technique, I'm going to do fanart on this piece, But this is definitely a method I'll be using again.

Wedding at Cana coloring page

The second luminous mystery.

You can buy the whole set in high resolution files that you can print and copy as much as you need for just 5 US dollars. Just go here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baptism in the Jordan coloring page

One of the teachers from a Catholic homeschooling program at my church found a coloring book of the Mysteries of the Rosary from the forties. Because the forties were before the pontificate of HH John Paul II, there were no luminous mysteries, so I was asked to provide them. This is the first.

You can buy the whole set in high resolution files that you can print and copy as much as you need for just 5 US dollars. Just go here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Acorn Teacup

The mice were really bad in our Minnesota cabin this year. They had stored acorns in everything: dresser drawers, the plumbing, the carburetor of the lawn mower, light bulb sockets, and a teacup I had on display.

I intend to color this with ink wash.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cloverfield Illustration

This will be in an upcoming issue of Gilbert magazine, illustrating a review of Cloverfield.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Minnesotan Inspiration

I went to Northern Minnesota for the Summer, and in the forest away from the internet I was very inspired. This post is just photographs, but I intend to put them to use as resources.

The Snake River

A tamarack bog. I love tamarack bogs; their verticality seems almost Gothic.

I bought a really cool old watch.

The state flower of Minnesota, Lady Slippers are actually rare and many Minnesotans have never seen one in person. I never had before.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Immaculate Conception Sketch

A sketch I did a while ago, an idea I'd like to do as a full drawing or painting. Since it's conception, fetal position seems appropriate.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I don't know what these flowers are called

But I like this color scheme a lot.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saint Lucy

Chalk and conte.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Red like Roses

Art Colours

On must we go: we search dead leaves,
We chase the sunset's saddest flames,
The nameless hues that o'er and o'er
In lawless weddings lost their names.

God of the daybreak! Better be
Black savages; and grin to gird
Our limbs in gaudy rags of red,
The laughing-stock of brute and bird.

And feel again the fierce old feast,
Blue for seven heavens that had sufficed,
A gold like shining hoards, a red
Like roses from the blood of Christ.

-G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, April 22, 2010

St. Gabriel Possenti sketch

Just a quick sketch from a photograph; I want to get familiar with his likeness because of many pictures I want to make of him, including a very big project I hope to do someday.

St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is awesome. (A bit of a rant follows)

I don't understand why people, even faithful Catholics, are so eager to try to disprove the gun and lizard legend. Do we go around trying to disprove the legend of St. George and the dragon? Why can't we accept it for what it is- a legend? I suspect the reason is pacifism. But the Catholic Church has never taught pacifism.

St. Gabriel encountered a soldier about to rape a girl. Should he have just tried to talk the soldier out of it? No one could possibly think that would work, and thus to do so would have been refusing to save the girl when he could have saved her, and would be wrong. What he did do, to grab the soldier's gun and march him and his fellows out of town at the end of its barrel, saved the girl and was right.

I believe in the legend most of all because it is purity, blazing purity, confronting debauchery and, pardon my slang, pwning it. The soldiers mocked Gabriel because he was a monk- a virgin. But he took their guns and blasted a crawling reptile in one shot, and they were cowed. His true manhood conquered their bestialness. Purity is not a constrained, repressed, lifeless thing. It blazes like the sun, and it pwns.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finished Folkfanart

I finished this! It turned out quite warm in tone, and like stained glass. There are faults but they all taught me a lot and I will put the knowledge to use for more pictures like this in future.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Early Fall Road

In early Fall in Minnesota a few years ago I went and sat down by a road with a bunch of markers and sketched what was before me as fast as I could.

I wish I were in Minnesota now...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Folkfanart in Blue

I started coloring this picture, doing the blue ink first, and I found the just blue and white stage very pretty so I scanned it like that before proceeding.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Inspired by Merovingian art, I'm trying a folkart-ish style. The first thing I thought of to do in it, of course, was Avatar the Last Airbender fanart. This is the lineart; I intend to color it with inks.

The second piece will, I think, be something with St. Brendan and Jonah.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peace and Hope

You might have seen this picture already, but ah. ^_^ This is inspired by a legend that says during the reign of Brian Boru, Ireland was so peaceful that a girl with a golden ring walked all the way across it alone safely. "Siochain" (there should be accents over the first I and the A but I don't know how on Blogger; bear with me, I'm just learning) means "Peace" in Irish. There's also an old Irish alphabet called Ogham where each letter is named for a kind of tree. The trees by the road and their leaves/blossoms blowing by in the lower left spell Siochain.

Last summer I went to Ireland, and took many photos which served as references for this picture. But I spent most of my time there in Northern Ireland learning about the Conflict of the seventies through the nineties, talked to ex-prisoners from both sides, including Martin McGuinness who is now deputy leader of Northern Ireland; as well as religious leaders who worked for peace. What I heard and saw also informs this picture's meaning.

As for the Hope part of this entry, I just submitted some art to Gilbert magazine http://gilbertmagazine.com/ (can't figure out how to make words into links yet either) for consideration for their art issue. Prayers please that they like it! *fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Shy Hello

An oekaki I did for Corpus Christi some years ago.

Inspired by a lecture on Thomistic Trinitarian theology, I have finally gathered the nerve to make myself an art blog. Here I hope to put my illustrations, sketches, works in progress and thoughts, and to have a sort of home base on the internet. Up till now that has been my deviantart gallery, where most of my art can be seen: http://firefiriel.deviantart.com/ I hope to get a nice portfolio website soon.

I dream of becoming a professional illustrator, religious artist, and graphic novel writer, and they say an art blog is essential for those with such aspirations. So, here goes! St. Thomas intercede for this venture!